Learn English – How to choose between “was” and “were”?

conundrumgrammatical-numberusageverb-agreement

Should I use the singular “was” or the plural “were” in the following sentence?

The first thing that I noticed was (OR) were the street performers singing near the main entrance of the park.

If I reversed the order, should the verb agree with its antecedent the street performers, which is a plural noun, or with singular noun “thing”?

The street performers, singing near the main entrance of the park, were (OR) was the first thing I noticed.

I could change the singular thing into things but I am uncomfortable with saying “the performers” are “things”.

The street performers, singing near the main entrance of the park, were the first things I noticed.

Best Answer

'The first thing was ...' The subject of the verb 'to be' is 'thing.'

You could say, 'The first things were...' –